Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Class of 1992 : Pantera's "Vulgar Display of Power "


This band might have fallen out of fashion with some, but of the metal albums from 1992 whose 30th we are celebrating this one is the heaviest and most groundbreaking so far. "Cowboys From Hell" hinted that these guys were onto something but was still rooted in a more Judas Priest like traditional metal. Here they blend hard core with that and stripped away the old school metal moments. This album is in your ace with a sharp guitar sound that grabs you by the throat. The first three songs are all high energy aggression with "Walk" being the most noteworthy. It not only groove but it swings in a way metal had not until this point. It was the metal anthem of the 90s that still holds weight. 

They pick up a frantic punk pace for "Fucking Hostile". The hook on the chorus being the key selling point. "This Love" might not be this album's answer to "Cemetery Gates" which would fall more on "Hollow" but it does flirt with a mild power ballad soft to loud dynamic.  "Rise" works off a staccato syncopation for its groove before speeding off into hyper thrash. "No Good" breaks down into Phil almost rapping in a lower voice. This album also finds him using screams that are just him letting his voice break into a scream rather than a falsetto high note. He does still sing a great deal, but this performance is more aggressive and will set the standard for metal singers for the rest for the decade in terms of dynamics. The album continues to be possessed by a good sense of groove that works, and varied tempos proven on both "Live in a Hole" that is more rock n roll in the vibes and " Regular People" works of a subtle funk in the drums. Vinnie Paul is the all-star more than Dime Bag at this stage in the album. 

"Demons By Driven" has strains of blues and country music in the DNA of the guitar which we would later here the band dive into with their off-shoot projects. You can hear the Sabbath influence more prominent here, "Hollow" as mentioned before is more like a conventional metal power ballad, with great vocals and guitar work. Less Rob Halford worship from Phil. Midway into the song things takes heavier shift than where "Cemetery Gates' went as it carries more of a stomp. This album is clearly a 10, and perhaps the best of the bunch when it comes to 90s metal. I guess we shall see next week when I release our Top 10 Metal Albums of 92 list. 


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